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Higher Ed in the News

Record numbers appealing college financial aid decisions

August 21, 2009

Students are appealing financial aid decisions this summer in unprecedented numbers.

Economic fallout

Appealing for more aid was a little-known option in higher education until this year. U.S. Education Department officials wrote to financial aid administrators in the spring, when most aid decisions are made, urging them to "reach out to your students . . . particularly those who seem to have hit a rough patch, to make sure that they know there may be ways that you can help."

Economic fallout, coupled with increased college enrollment, and the aid made available by President Obama's administration, has sent appeals into overdrive.

Many appeals still under consideration

Nationwide, appeals among students filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid totaled 106,189 so far this cycle and were on pace to exceed the 143,672 appeals filed in 2008-2009.

Students who appeal earlier in the year are more likely to get it, aid officials said. Juniors and seniors may get preference over freshmen.

Many appeals have not yet been decided.


Read more from the Washington Post.